JIM: One of the subplots to Monday's 3-1 victory was the fact that Alain VIgneault earned his first win as head coach of the Rangers. Even though Vigneault himself downplayed that topic after the game, he did add, "winning is great." Brad Richards did acknowledge that AV earning his first win as the Rangers bench boss was a big deal "for the entire organization", and he is right. Ownership and management have entrusted a true Cup contender to this man, and expectations are high. A first win is just that, the first of what everyone around the team hopes to be many, but getting the initial victory out of the way does take some pressure off Vigneault. It's hard enough to navigate a season-opening nine-geame road trip with a brand-new team. Imagine doing that and not picking up a victory for three or four games. Wouldn't be fun nor pretty. Congrats to AV. The first of many!
MATT: What a difference three days makes. After Thursday's loss, some were weary and worried about if and when the Rangers would show the benefits of Vigneault's system, but they were proven last night. The Rangers were much better in their own zone — aside from the Kings goal off a turnover — they forechecked hard and the defense joined the rush. Another sign of their aggression were the amount of odd-man rushes they had, namely breakaways or at least partial ones. Off the top of my head, I can remember Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Taylor Pyatt, Derick Brassard and Brad Richards — who scored — all had rushes in on Jonathan Quick. While only one goal came of them — thanks to Quick being in net — it's a positive that the Rangers are generating these opportunities. There's plenty to be excited about as this squad continues to adapt to the new system.